2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
After several years of delays related to battery supply and regulatory certification, Mitsubishi is bringing its Outlander plug-in hybrid to the U.S.
Despite the delays, Mitsubishi is pulling off a coup with the vehicle: The Outlander PHEV will be the first nonluxury plug-in hybrid crossover in the U.S. That claim to fame and its affordability give Mitsubishi a rare leg up on its competitors.
An EPA fuel economy rating is unavailable, but Mitsubishi has promised that the Outlander PHEV's mpg-equivalent rating and electric-only range will beat any existing plug-in hybrid crossover. That means it will get at least 56 mpg-e and more than 18 miles of pure-electric driving.
The powertrain, which comes only in all-wheel drive, has six modes of regenerative braking that are controlled via shifters on the steering wheel, and three drive modes: charge, save and EV priority. DC fast-charging is also standard, letting a drained battery recharge to about 80 percent in 25 minutes when connected to a compatible fast charger.
The base SEL model comes with leather seats, power driver and passenger seats, power liftgate and a 7-inch touch screen for the infotainment system. The plug-in hybrid is missing the conventional gasoline version's third-row seat, but otherwise sacrifices nothing in passenger and cargo space.
A loaded GT model stickers for $41,235, including shipping but excluding state or federal tax incentives. It adds safety features such as forward collision braking, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.
Powertrain: 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine and two 60kW electric motors; single-speed transmission; all-wheel drive
Technology: 7-inch color touch screen for infotainment system, three drive modes for powertrain, AC power socket in cargo area, DC fast-charging, smartphone app to control vehicle charging
Safety: 7 airbags and standard rear-vision camera, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, optional lane-departure warning, forward collision braking and radar cruise control
Target: 3,000 to 4,000 sales a year in the U.S.
Competitors: Subaru Outback, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Nissan Rogue Hybrid
Strengths: Seamless transition between electric and gasoline power, good value when federal tax credit is considered, efficiency
Weaknesses: No third-row seating, cheap interior trim, suspension tuning
Bottom line: Mitsubishi is on to something here. Our drive on California's Catalina Island didn't allow for freeway speeds, but in around-town driving on dirt and paved roads, our loaded GT model crossover proved itself a worthy competitor to other fuel-sipping crossovers such as Toyota's RAV4 Hybrid or Nissan's Rogue Hybrid. It's comfortable, spacious and in our testing got around 20 miles of pure EV driving. The combination of efficiency and value should mean Mitsubishi has no trouble hitting its sales goals.
|2017 TOYOTA RAV4 HYBRID XLE||2018 MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER PHEV SEL|
|Wheelbase||104.7 in.||105.1 in.|
|Length||183.5 in.||184.8 in.|
|Width||72.6 in.||70.8 in.|
|Height||67.1 in.||67.3 in.|
|Curb weight||3,925 lbs.||4,178 lbs.|
|Powertrain||2.5-liter, 4-cyl. gasoline engine, with 105 kW and 50 kW electric motors; awd||2.0-liter, 4-cyl. gasoline engine with two 60 kW electric motors; awd|
|System horsepower||194 hp||197 hp|
|EPA mpg||34 city/30 hwy.||At least 56 mpg-e combined (estimated)|
|*includes shipping,**Before tax credits|
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